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Romney 16, Fema 13, Washington 12, Florida 11, Us 9, Sandy 5, New York 5, Colorado 4, Katrina 4, Mr. Romney 4, California 3, Irene 3, Gallup 3, Ohio 3, Cnn 2, America 2, Abc 2, Boston 2, Mississippi 2, Claudia 2,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    October 30, 2012
    7:00 - 8:30am EDT  

history and politics of colorado with curtis hubbard of the "denver post," then get out the vote efforts in colorado by republicans and democrats. first with sean tonner and palacio. by rick palaci host: sandy could leave 10 million without power, economic losses could reach $20 billion according to papers. hit has had was hardest with a nine-foot storm surge. the subway could be crippled. trading stopped in this morning and will continue to be on the sidelines this morning. all of this bringing to light your trust in a government during natural disaster. that is where we want to begin, getting your thoughts on that.
also delaying the pro forma session of congress. house and senate will be in sessio session, pro forma session, later on today. we want to hear from you in the first 45 minutes, your trust in government during natural disasters. the numbers are on the screen. host: you can also put your comments on our twitter page and facebo facebook. already sends us an e-mail and we will take all of your comments that way this morning. we have a report from the "washington post" the headline is storm brings candidates' disaster response into focus. hurricane sandy battering of the east coast is expected to produce historic rainfall and cause billions of dollars of
damage and disruption to the presidential race and could provide a moment of sharp contrast between president obama and mitt romney and how their different ideas of governing apply to large scale disaster.
host: his kpaeub was quote d as saying people are point tock the primary where governor romney during the primary has talked about privatize iing fema and budget cuts to them. he has not made similar comments since that debate and his aides insisted he would not abolish fema. he believes states should be in charge of emergency management and responding. that is from the romney campaign yesterday. so, we are turning to you to get your take. what is your trust level in the government during natural disasters? lew is in new york an independent. what is it like up there for you? caller: we are going through
there crazy storm. i think the bureacratic system is definitely going to catch off guard until something is done about t. my trust in government at this point? if romney were to get in and that mindset of dissolving governme government, then when you have katrina and you have the storm we get the kind of response we got then and a lot of people suffering and basically on our own. that is the scary part. all back to the fact that it will get worse and worse over time and more and more heated that you have heard the thought that it is time to act and do
something and you can't count on government to save you. i live in new york and they could not help many people. 60 houses burned to the ground because how could you respond in three feet of water? host: are you referring it the fires in brooklyn? >> yes, breezy point. it is too much to be responded to by too few resources and there is no power, there is no pumps. it is just crazy. you say how much trust can you have in government? whether can government do to the extent that you have places inundated. you get the point. if it dealt with in a serious
way which neither party is doing, it is a joke. they are a small group of voices who argue to muddy the water when it is clearly in favor of something is going on and you need to deal with it. host: we will go to bradley next from california, a republican there. what are your thoughts on this this morning, on the trust level of government during natural disasters? caller: my mother and i were just talking about it last night and i said i do trust the federal government. we have the highest amount of intelligent resources, first responders. we have state of the art technology in the 911 emergency equipment. we've got all of that at our
disposal. but i do believe, i said mom, we have to let the states get a mandate of what they need with eyes on the ground and let them handle the first responders and when it first happens within the first few days or weeks and if this turns into a long-term disaster like the fires we had in california and earthquakes, then the federal government has established itself and can start putting its boots on the ground so to speak. but for the american people to blame the government lake blame bush -- like blame bush, the state should take care of it in the beginning. host: that is how it works right now according to a pest in the "washington post." he says that local and state officials respond to disasters and make requests of the federal for additional supplies or money only when need
needed. reforms allow them to make requests in advance it make sure federal officials are on the ground to assist with assessments a under more quickly to washington for help. it quotes president obama and governor romney yesterday but what do you think about how it works right now? caller: well, i forgot to tell you, that is what my mother said. she said we should have had -- the federal government should have had shelter and aid for the people that were fleeing. i agree with her there. the government should be involved. but on the outskirts to begin with. because they don't know what is happening on the inside lines. host: were you watching the mayors and governors yesterday as they held press conferences? >> you know what? my mom is fixated on it and i saw it for a couple of days. but when the storms started coming in and today i looked for a couple of secrets and saw one
inch of rain and thought i'm not going to get caught up in it. but i do have feelings for the folks. i hope all of their property and family and friends are safe. host: a little more from the piece in the "washington post." congress has broadened fema's authority so it can respond in advance of major storms instead of waiting for governors to request aid after a disaster strikes the measures earned from governor haley from mississippi and jindal from louisiana professional emergency managers who am sought changes for years.
host: the head of fema has been on you are network so if you are interested in looking him up go to and you can watch interviews we have done with him and other events. speaking of fema here is their budget, recent budget. 2012 about $10.4 billion, 2012 about $13.9 billion and 2013 request of $13.6 billion. "new york times" puts a spotlight on fema a chance to show progress at that agency. fema with the authorization of president obama had as of monday afternoon declared a disaster in eight states and district of columbia allowing them to begin to request emergency assistance or know they will receive some federal money even before the worst of the storm hits. the article goes on to talk
about disaster aid. fema has not seen a test on the scale of hurricane katrina. in 2005 when delays in delivering emergency relief and failures in communication system and problems with the emergency housing program combined to produce widespread criticism. since then it has tried to strengthen its ability to respond by rebuilding its supply management system and personnel and fostering stronger ties to outside parties. fema has about $3.6 billion in t the disaster fund although more may be needed for reimbursements to states after this storm. we will go to nashville, tennessee, democratic caller. what is your trust level in the government during natural disaster? caller: i have no trust for the federal government. that is not because of obama. it is because of congress. i remember the last time that there was a storm that hit the
east coast and i remember the tea baggers saying the paoeeopl shouldn't depend on fema because they were so interested in their deficit. i think that is terrible because that is one thing that people rely on is the federal government at a time like there. there is a catastrophe for a lot of people. you have a lot of people that have lost everything and they need help. but then you have the republican side that has really denigrated people who need help. they are always talking about people on food stamps, or people taking welfare and denigrating those people. and then you have a lot of callers that call in talking about this person is taking it from us or they should not have it. and you have a lot of people like people that are affected by
there storm that are going to need help and i don't know if the federal government is going to be able to come together soon enough to be able to help these people quickly. congress is out and they didn't even do anything about the promise for the drought. so, i think that they just don't care. host: what about privatize iinge response to disaster to make sure that politics and partisan bick bickering doesn't stop or reduce money for responding to disasters? caller: if they are privatizing t pay for ito pay for it?or it ? it would be taxpayers that would pay for it. but it would be the government that would be giving the money to the private companies to
help. and we all know how the privatization of different groups for the iraq war, how they helped bilk the government out of tons of money. so, where if the government did it, it would be a lot cheaper and better. host: do you trust the government more than you trust the private sector? caller: in terms of how much they are charging, yes, i do. in terms of the government being there for the paoeeople at all,, i don't. not with this congress. host: raymond in new york, independent caller. what was it like for you last night? caller: it was madness. i'm in the middle of this and i mean it is just the worst thing -- i have been alive since 1945 this is the worst storm i have ever been in and people have died.
our president is in the middle of this because i can imagine if romney was president, we would get nothing in this morning. and putting racism on the side and i just can't see romney doing anything for a poor man or anything for the country. if you just put -- if people just put racism aside and look at a man who works with people man who really doesn't care for anything but rich people it is madness. this is the worst storm i have ever been in. host: what was it like? caller: i mean, the subway station the water is over the
platforms. trees are down everywhere. it is the worst -- i'm 66 years old and this is the worse storm i have ever seen. we have a president who is going to help people. bush didn't help with katrina and obama is help being. host: judy a democratic caller from michigan. caller: i called in to commend president obama for everything that he has done and is doing throughout this major tragedy. i wish everybody the pwbest on e east coast. and i just know that he's never going to give up because he is one go forward kind of man. i'm proud of him. host: do you think it is the role of government to respond in natural disasters, federal government, or state level? caller: the federal government
has to step in when the disaster is this huge. i agree that the local governments have to go out there and make sure the initial emergencies are heeded by the public and then the federal government has to take over because it is too huge when so many states are involved. host: "new york times" editorial page agrees. big storm requires big government but mr. romney wants to give fema responsibilities to 50 states. last it years they have forced a 43% reduction in fema grants. paul ryan others have tried to refuse budget requests when disasters are more expensive or other programs be cut to pay for
them. the ryan budget which mr. romney praised as an excellent piece of work with result in severe cutbacks to the agency as would republican i understand city gated sequester that could relief 8.2%. mr. romney believe that financially stressed states would do a better job than properly functioning federal agency? that is "new york times" editorial. a call from louisville, ohio. rex. independent caller. caller: i'm looking at the question and somebody will have to come to the realization that we are dealing with education regurgitation. because you said trust in government through natural disaster. could we trust so-called government in getting in to illegal unfunded wars or trust the government dealing with
hiding fascist trade agreements or $4 for a gallon of gas? so, no, we can't trust the government. but the problem is the question. because the government is the people. if you go to the constitution, it is a government for the people by the people. and if you look at the election process that is going on today with unlimited campaign financing, you cannot get further from one citizen and one vote, a government for the people by the people. so i can turn on c-span or g.e. or fox or time warner or disney or i can tune in to clear channel or any old fox radio, "wall street journal," and you are just bombarded 24 hours a day seven days a week with --
even the question that you are asking on the screen is an insane thought that somehow these politicianless and billionaires equal government.e billionaires equal government.s billionaires equal government. billionaires equal government. i'm a writer. i have my own radio show. i'm going to plug the radio show. it is freedom revolution radio. it is on 4:00 it 6:00 p.m. saturday. i talk about stuff like there. i also talk about the south and modern day civil war that we are fighting. you go back to haley barbour and the guy from louisiana. they fight the government. host: i'm going to leave it
there. that segues us into campaign 2012 with the latest polls showing the race is all tied up. "washington post" abc news poll, 49% each in this homestretch one week to go until election day. and the storm sand kwry sidetra the candidates. here is what the "wall street journal" writes this morning. gallup suspended the nightly polling. state officials asked residents it bring political signs indoors. appearances andd hey canceled appearances and ey canceled appearances and nceled appearances and ed appearances and ppearances and rances and es and nd host: romney, according to cnn today will hold what his team bills as a storm relief event
for those affected engulfing the storm in ohio. it will feature governor romney and race car driver richard petty and randy owens. those are governor romney's plans. and president obama off the campaign trail, at the white house yesterday, held a news conference and former president bill clinton on the trail for him going to many of the battle ground states includi including,minnesota where the polls have shown it is up there. so, the former president will be stumping for president obama. maybe you heard yesterday that the labor department might delay those all important job numbers this friday before the election. this is from u.p.i. this morning. the labor department says it intends to release the awaited october jobs report on schedule friday despite hurricane sandy but can't be sure yet.
we will give you more campaign news as we go along. first, back to phone calls. claudia in sun prairie, wisconsin, a democrat, talking about trust in government during natural disasters. go ahead, claudia. caller: good morning. i do trust in government. what i have a problem with is the obstructionism in congress by the republican party. we should have an infrastructure though in this country. look around. everything is crumbling. europe, avel to asia, come back here and is gee, what is going on? for the past four years, inauguration day, i don't know if it was 12 or 18 prominent republicans, cantor, ryan, et cetera, meeting in a fancy steakhouse to pledge that they will not allow this president to have a second term. that is on inauguration night.
these people don't care about the american people and this country. they don't care about the people on the east coast. they care about their own personal agendas and money grabs. the east coast better get used to this because there is what global warming is all about. host: david from riverside. caller: i'm the first republican, one out of six. very good. my question is the central government is spending to oblivion. we are $16 trillion in debt. why is it everybody on the democratic side is a minority that is worried about the rich? i just want to tphknow when is united states going to wake up and stop living off other people? host: tie this to the question then. trust in the government during natural disaster. do you think the government shouldn't have a role in responding? should it be privatized?
caller: yes, it should be privatized. all means it should be privatized. host: why do you think the private sector would do a better job? caller: because three spend too much money, period. host: so, we run it more efficiently, less money spent? caller: the private sector is not in debt $16 trillion. the federal government is. tore up the road in front of my house three times in the last nine years. host: david from riverside a republican. inez, fort washington, michigan. democratic caller. go ahead. caller: i'm calling because one caller earlier he blamed president obama. i think that president obama is doing a wonderful job. i'm 71 years old and i have been
through floods. my basement has flooded. i didn't blame anybody. i got out and did what i had to do. i did a little bit at a time. i applaud president obama for the job that he's doing. they try to put romney like he's already the president. the obama said, edg he is president of the united states. that is what i think they should concentrate on what he is doing. because he steps right to the plate. host: about the ramifications of the storm here is "u.s.a. today" storm could leave 10 million without power. utilities stay on top of outages and press for the impact. that is "u.s.a. today." on the economy here is "u.s.a. today" as well how will sandy affect the economy? economic losses will likely exceed the $12 billion to $16 billion from hurricane irene which battered the northeast in
august of 2011 says a chief economist. and an economics professor at smith ity of maryland school of business estimates it will result in about $35 billion to $45 billion total losses. and another company projects $10 billion to $20 billion of damage about half insured. property damage will be repaired and lost economic output will be adjust set by other increased activity as residents prepare for the hurricane. and here is another story about economic impact from "wall street journal." losses may exceed those of the 2011 storm. airlines and shippers expect an extended disruption. will cost them millions of dollars and leave thousands of fliers and goods stranded. airlines will cancel a total more than 14,600 flights as monday and more than the roughly 10,000 canceled due to hurricane
irene in 2011. irene comes united continental holdings about $40 million in revenue. delta airlines said hurricane irene forced it to cancel about 2,200 flights costing $15 million in profits. delta has canceled 2,500 due to sandy. they can partially compensate by rerouting business. united par sal said -- parcel is from ricted to louisville philadelphia and newark. so, a little bit about the economy. and also homeowners insurance is something that will be put back in focus after the storm. may test the limits of that. this is written by the "washington post." stranded homeowners insurance doesn't cover -- standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding warns the federal government website and that can be a costly omission.
just a few inches of water can cost tens of thousands of dollars of damage. from 2007 to 2011 the average claim was almost $30,thundershower and nearly a quarter of flood loss are in areas with low to moderate risk. the storm which is affecting about 50 million could inflict $10 billion to $20 billion of economic damage and $5 billion to $10 billion, losses. we go it fort -- excuse me, we go to mississippi, a republican. what is your trust level on the government? caller: i do trust the government to a certain degree in a disaster. but i would just like to say people need to man up and take responsibility for their own needs and their own sever preservation. dear god, this country, most of
the people in this country are outright embarrassing. what would the pioneers and settlers that came other to this country and settled this great country and fought for this died for this country think of most of people today that want to depend on the government and other taxpayers to pay their way while three sit on their butts and do absolutely nothing? i'm absolutely just disgusted with most of the democrats in this country. they are pathetic. i'm an avid en -- watcher of c-span and the whole political system. and i tell you what. it has turned into a joke. the whole world must be laughing at us and idiocy that is going on. i agree with the lady when she says that president obama is the
leader of the country. you are damn right he is the leader. and it is time he man up and take responsibility for the actions of his four years, whether it was his fault or not. host: we will leave it there. on twitter jim says there is a stupid question. fema will contract with private enterprise to clean up the mess and deliver the food and water. ray in omaha, nebraska, independent caller. good morning. caller: good morning. greetings to you. we appreciate the work that you do here in getting the voices of the people. i can't agree with the lady that just spoke any more. i'm very embarrassed. when you ask who you trust, i trust god first of all. man is subject to error. we all are. nobody is perfect. and it is disconcerting to hear the hate being spewed cutting up romney or cutting up someone whether we have enough on our
plate that we need to correct. our country is in horrible condition and we send out money to repair mosques in egypt when charity begins at home. i believe in charity. i raised money. but when i hear someone say that we are denigrating people because of food stamps, that is not the case. jesse jackson quoted a long time ago and he repeated what someone else said, teach a person how to fish. when you keep giving them fish who wants to be on food stamps. it is obvious things haven't worked when president obama came on ffice 32 million were food stamps. now 47 million. what is good about that? jobs?about i need to correct someone who said romney wouldn't give you anything. if you are going to cut up
romney say some of the good things. that is not -- let's not lie. he gave his inheritance to the poor. he didn't want to do what his father did. he lived in a basement apartment when he got married and he didn't work for pay when he was governor. he worked for free. host: i will move on to some other voices. cnn reporting that there's been a levee break in new jersey and rescuing is under way in three towns there. this comes from twitter. privatized emergency response means money. for blackwater and who will -- haliburton. this is an independent caller. caller: reagan used to say two biggest lies i'm with government and i'm here to help. it is a lie. we look at george tenant talking about a slam dunk smoking gun
nuclear weapons in iraq with colin powell testifying to the senate. in retrospect we can see both of them, george bush, the entire government structure lied to us and even joked about it with bush saying where are toes nuclear weapons -- those weapons. that was a national lie and crisis. that was an enormous lie that cost this nation trillions of dollars and huge numbers of human life in iraq and ours. that is the first lie. we look at katrina right down here on the gulf coast. we see the government going in wasting money exaggerating police executing people on bridges in new orleans. absolute overstretch. i would turn also to questioning do we trust c-span. has anybody looked at the board of directors of c-span? take the time to look at them. these are all c.e.o.'s of enormous powerful wealthy
corporationless. c-span pretends to be egalitarian and democratic. it is no.ess. c-span pretends to be egalitarian and democratic. it is nss. c-span pretends to be egalitarian and democratic. it is no.. c-span pretends to be egalitarian and democratic. it is no. government.l of host: why do you say it is a tool of government? >> everybody says god bless c-span. i think of reverend wright who turned it around. it is a tool of the government it is so above the fray and ho y holy. they are operating with tax paid infrastructure that is used for telecommunications. we paid for this. host: i'm going to clarify because i don't want people to get the wrong impression because we don't receive any government money at c-span. c-span is brought to you by your cable companies, public service. your cable bill a few pennies every month so we don't receive
direct compensation from the federal government. i want to make sure that is clear. we have been talking about money and economic impact of this sto storm. hurricane sandy typified a stimulus. judging from the reports by the u.s. economy it continued to grow but judging from the big crowds heading for home depot, lowe's, costco in the eastern u.s. the economy is booming. with reconstruction and other elements of this could provide some economic stimulus. on the screen we can put up the c-span board of directors and you can find all of that information on our website. if you are interesting after hearing what that caller had to say. those are the people serving currently. jerry in alabama. caller.ic caller: can i say something
about a statement a person said a few minutes ago? host: sure. caller: he quoted lincoln regarding the constitution. i think he saeid we the people shall not -- that is lincoln's speech. that is not the constitution. you need to read the constitution before you quote it. that is all i wanted to say about that. i think that in these emergency stipulations one of our biggest assets is the n.g.o. of the red cross. they are fixing to complete a great amount of their assets and i would like to suggest to everybody that if you can afford it, they need blood and they need money and probably other assets but money is the thing somewh that is in this casing to be depleted during the red cross. in the husk in dark hurricane
in tuscaloosa they depleted their assets. host: do you think the red cross should take there over? caller: no, in is one of the n.g.o.'s who is affected and they are probably the most effective. i suggest everybody consider the red cross and their contribution because they will need to be replenish. host: a couple of campaign headlines. this is the "washington times" their led lin on early -- headline on early voting obama leads solid with early voters. democrats turn out in key states. that is the "washington times." let me show you the "washington post" headline on early voting. g.o.p. improve its showing in early voting. republicans performing better than in 2008 though still lag lined democrats in -- behind democrats in nevada, iowa, north
carolina, florida, et cetera. the battle ground states which is our focus and has been on the "washington journal" looking at those nine swing states. deep dive into the states talking to people on the ground there and what they will see on election night, what they can expect and what is the tenor of the campaigns in those states. we will continue with that today with a focus being on colorado coming up in about five minutes or so. we will keep taking your phone calls about the trust in government during natural disasters. hal is next from florida, republican. caller: i have lived on the beach all my life in florida and hurricanes have come through and we had to evacuate many times. i remember in hurricane dora when i was about 5 years old having to leave the house and the hurricane went through, destroyed homes, the government was there. i still remember having -- my
dad having to talk to the floored to let us come back. the government is here and we can trust it. i want to say nobody said this, romney is a human being, he is a good man. he was the bishop of his church, he gives 10% away to charity. this shunned -- shouldn't be political. the government should be there for everybody. and it was there every time we had to evacuate and do things and i'm sure it will be there for the people in new jersey. my heart goes out to them. host: we are starting the battle ground series at 8:30 a.m. eastern but our campaign 2012 conversation will start in about five minutes taking a look at polling. "new york times" -- excuse me -- the "washington post," "boston globe" shows a tie between scott brown, the incumbent republican senator and elizabeth warren
according to the new "boston globe" poll yesterday. it stands in contrast to efficiently others showing warren with a lead. other stories shows brown has decided to cancel the last debate between the two of them saying it is not appropriate at this present time with this storm. and the "washington post" election lawyers ready to challenge illegal activity. thousands of attorneys representing two major presidential candidates civil rights groups are in place policied to challenge electoral results that may be called in question by machine failures, voter suppression or other allegation of illegal activity. that is a story also in "u.s.a. today" taking a look at what happened in 2000 in florida and saying that possibly another state could be like florida in battleaybe ohio or other ground states where you could have a recount and not know who the winner of the election is.
also front page of the "wall street journal" medicare complicates the senior vote. senior citizens are a coveted bloc in florida where three make bum a quarter of the electr elee and they are important to romney given the deficit among young voters and minorities. he needs not only to win among seniors but win big. in 2008 john phmccain captured e group by 8% margin but lost to president barack obama. mr. romney is leading among the elderly by 6% to 12% a sign he may be weathering a charge by democrats that he and ryan with undermine medicare. that is the "wall street journal" this morning latest on that. if you are interested in the state of florida that is the first state we started in our series last wednesday. so, if you go to c-span tkaurpbg and type in -- and type in florida you can watch
those segments. frank in gulfport, mississippi, independent caller. what do you think is the trust level in government? caller: well, ma'am, i think the white house, president barack oba obama, is a fine president and to me it doesn't matter who becomes president. if you do not have the backing of congress nothing will get done no matter who the president is. and from going through katrina and what i have seen down here, i think that like fema and everything like that, they don't have enough oversight. i agree with the one caller, the american red cross, they have done more for the people down here than what the government ever did. as far as making sure people will blankets and clothes and food where the government, we had transacto tractors and food
lieutenants for five and six details and nobody told them where to go and they were being paid for it. but the american red cross was down here and set up and anybody who needed food and water and they did everything they could. somebody like that having a private contractor but we had contractors down here and they had all of these fishing piers along beach boulevard and a couple of months ago we had a category one and knocked them all down. it is nothing but a money game. host: lloyd in montros everyoe, democratic. caller: keep on doing what you are doing, c-span because you are the voice of the regular everyday people for better or for worse. trusting the government depends on who is president. whether it is a democrat or a
republican. the republicans are a crooked bunch of people. the guy from ohio, he was just ridiculous. he did a lot of talking but he didn't say anything. as far as welfare, the rich are the people that benefit from welfare. the rich and corporations. a corporation makes billions of dollars but still getting welfare from the government. that is ridiculous. another thing, polls should be illegal because polls influence people's votes and that should be illegal. host: you could not have provided a more perfect segue. that is the to topic next. stpwhr any r: anybody with intelligence wouldn't vote for a person namely romney who is proud of having offshore accounts and hides his tax returns. there has to be something in the tax returns that he doesn't want
the people to see. host: i have to move on. polling. have you ever wondered who is getting called for the polls? we will look at that next with scott keeter. then after that we turn our attention to the battle ground state of colorado. we will be right back. >> i would like to ask you a few questions similar to that asked of the vice presidential candidates. as a catholic how has your view on abortion been shaped by your religion? >> i'm a catholic. i'm es in pailian so i guess i can't answer that question. >> your shus husband is a catholic. >> i'm episcopalian. we raised our children as
catholics but i would be happy to talk about my view on abortion. my view on abortion is that it should be safe legal and rare. >> this is a valid point that is and a difference that is between us that is not manufactured. we have babies in america and iowa that are being aborted because they are baby girls balls the mother want as boy instead of a girl. we have evidence of that. it is coming in from the asian community as well. we have legislation that prohibits sex selected aworks. she says she thinks it is ridiculous to talk about it. i think it matters. i think that it matters to the little girls that are being apwrted. election day is one week away. find key races from across the country on c-span, c-span radio and "washington journal" continues.
>> we are back with scott keeter the director of survey research. understanding polling. why do we do polls? >> a lot of people think we do them to figure out who is going to win but we are going to find that out next week or maybe a little after that depending on whapls. but we do polls to understand why people vote the way they do. who votes the way they do? the purpose is to explain the election, not to predict it. host: why are they considered scientific? guest: they are considered scientific because they use principles of random sampling to produce an accurate model of the public. it is surprising to people that you can interview 1,000 people or 1,500 and do that, but it has been well demonstrated that you can. so, we use those kinds of principles that are basically at the heart of a lot of science to be able to do this somewhat
miraculous feet producing an accurate representation by just talking with a small fraction. host: are they accurate? guest: well, they are. polling has a very good track record of accurately predicting the elections even though that is not our main purpose. is one way we can know that polls are accurate. in fact, of all the surveys that are done it is one of the only ones that has a very clear outside way to validate all the polsters including the pew will do a final poll and put the estimates out the next week or so before the election and on election day we will find out how accurate we were. four years ago we were within one point of picking the exact mark. eight years ago we were dead on the margin. and we are not the only ones that have a good track record. most polling does a very good job of predicting how the
election will turn out. host: how do you a do a poll from the beginning to the end? guest: it is a fairly straightforward process. we do several stages. one is to figure out what you want to ask people and what is the content, structure of the question. what are the issues you want to ask about, what are the aspects of the candidates. then you draw a sample of telephone numbers and we call land lines and cell phones to make sure we cover virtually the entire adult population of the country. host: how are the samples created? guest: the telephone system of the united states has records of all of the area codes and exchanges and kinds of numbers that are assigned to residential households and we can get access to that. we don't actually have access to all the numbers themselves but we know exactly where the phone numbers are located in all of the mathematical possibilities
and draw randomly from those. that way everybody has a chance to be included whether listed in the phone book or not, whether they have recently gotten their phone or not. and then we make our calling. it is a more complicated process than that but we do our calling, interview people, put the data together. we make adjustments to it to make sure that it matches the population. then we get a result and that is what we report. host: who does the calling? guest: we have two or three different firms that we hire to do that work. they are survey research professionals in that business. they have large calling centers situated throughout the country to be able to do the calling. they have trained interviewers who do it with supervision. one of the facilities is just south of washington. another is in new york. another is in florida. so they are spread out and able to make a lot of calls in a
short space of time. host: how do you decide the word choice that you use, and how can you prevent tonality from getting into the way the question is asked and therefore maybe skewing the results? guest: it is one of the biggest challenges in the survey business. the scientific side of it, the science of sampling and calling and all that is actually very straightforward and it is no is difficult to do. it is not complicated to design. but the human language that we use is very complicated and it is easy to use the wrong words, to bias a question by putting too much information in it for people. learned over the years that there is a fair amount of scientific research on this but a lot of practical experience that we have in writing questions that are unbuy kwralgsed and -- unbiased and able to capture an honest opinion. then when we train interviewers
we train them to read the question exactly as written and not betray any of their own bias in asking the question. host: what is raking of a poll? guest: we will have a certain number of men and women, white, african-american, latinos, people of different education. we look at the distribution of those and how many women versus how many men and comparison it to consensus data to say did we hit the target. we get close to the 50% and 50% break or 49 men and 51 women. if we don't, then we will weight the data which is a way of statistically adjusting to give a little more weight to people who are underrepresented in the polls if we don't end up in enough latinos, for example, we will weight them up. if we get too many with a
college degree, we will weight them down a hrelittle bit. host: why are some polsters considered liberal or conservative and others independent? . most of the public pollster we are following these days in terms of the horse race polls they are doing, you mentioned the "washington post" and abc news poll, all the maim networks and newspapers have them. pew research is an independent corporation. gallup. none of them are liberal or conservative. their mission is to produce unbiased data to describe the election and our reputations depend on not only the accuracy of polling but being perceived as being unbiased and a lot of people look closely at what we do to try to catch some evidence of bias. but then you also have campaign who work for the democratic party or democratic candidates, for the republican party and republican candidates.
i know a lot of people in the business. they are also very serious professionals. they want their candidates to win, of course. but they also have the to defend. so, the ones in that sector who are doing public polling have the same kind of incentives that we do not to put their thumb on the scale because number one people will catch them and number two, they will be wrong. host: any idea how profitable the polling industry is? guest: i think that it is pretty profitable. i think it is a good business to be in because not only is there political polling which is what we do pretty much exclusively, social and political topics. but survey research is a big industry well beyond the political and social realm. a lot of the market research is done by the same organizations that we may use to do our polling. and as long as the economy is reasonably healthy the polling sector does pretty well because
businesses consider it essential to making good decisions. host: in is a piece in a column seems awfully smooth for a wild ride and polls today are pretty much what the polls showed for him back in june. overall this race has been fairly stable especially in state polls where the results we are seeing are consistent with what the economic fundamentals might dictate a very tight race narrowly favoring mr. obama. do you agree? guest: i think that is a good reading. our poll yesterday found a 47-47 split between romney and obama of unlikely voters. we had had obama with a significant lead at the end of the summer and in the aftermath of the political conventions. but the first debate changed that dramatically as a poll we took a few days afterwards showed. but i think that mr. silver is
making a broader point, which is the underlying divisions in the public -- i'm talking about ideological and partisan -- are deeply rooted and it is not true that everybody has made a decision and that the public is totally locked up. but the fundamental contours of the 50-50 split in there country are kind of wired into us right now and that provides some kind of anchor to the polls that i think is consistent with his analysis. host: what about the impact of this storm on polling with only one week to go? guest: we are taking a chose look at this. our most recent poll finished interviewing sun night. -- sunday night and we were working on it yesterdayat this. our most recent poll finished interviewing sun night. -- sunday night and we were working on it yesterdaylook at . our most recent poll finished interviewing sun night. -- sunday night and we were get ng on it yesterday to it out before the storm hit. but there will be a lot of people we won't be able to reach when we go back into the field
for a poll this weekend and we are going to try to figure out how many people that involves, what contribution they might make to a national poll would be, and if it really is too much of a problem we could easily think about delaying our poll ing for day or two to allow more people to get back. we don't know yet until we see what happens today. host: could any polls taken after this storm be inaccurate because of it? guest: the fear is the because the storm is localized in the northeast that significant numbers are unavailable to be interviewed or not interested in because they wed are too busy with other things that it could depress the reputation of those individuals poll. and the northeast is bit more democratic than other parts and you might find polling not
showing as much support for the democrats as they would oils. but that is premature. for not everyone is effected in the northeast and we can weight the data but we are not sure if that is going to fix the problem. host: let's go to desi in detroit democratic caller. thank you for waiting. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: thank you for c-span. i'm surprised i got through the first time. listen, it is things that like with with global warming. you can buy the result if you wantith global warming. you can buy the result if you wantth global warming. you can buy the result if you wah global warming. you can buy the result if you wa global warming. you can buy the result if you wantglobal warming. you can buy the result if you wa want. affects the that psyche of america when you hear closed so much in
such a short period of time? it just seems that you can get the results that you want money to buy. and what about people that what about people that get their -- through their cellphone. for that?oll guest: i think it is true there are ways in which we can push people in one direction or another. there are limits to how far you can do that. the more serious problem is advocacy groups pushing for a position and we do not know what all they ask and there could be
some selections. you may see things that surprise you and you have to ask the question, what are they not showing me? on the question of cell phones, we recognize the growing percentage of people who are cell phone only was a threat to the accuracy of polling. had cell phones in every one of our surveys. we estimate that a third or more of the adult population now is not reachable on a land line at all. that includes more than half of young people and significant numbers of people who are rent ers. called cell phones and feel it
is the only way to get an accurate sample. host: this person on twitter wants to know -- guest: i do not think pulling shapes opinion. -- i do not think polling shaped opinion. it gives everybody an equal chance to be heard. in terms of feeding back on the public, the scientific evidence is very nmixed. primaries where the viability of a candidate as registered in the polls may affect people's willingness to donate money. sometimes polls can kill off any
candidacy before it gets a chance to get going. tim pawlenty dropped out of the race when he was not doing well in the polls. he might have had a good chance of getting the nomination if he stayed in. not doing well in the polls heard him because he could not raise the money. host: here is a story from "usa today." host: we will go to terry in florida. we are talking about political polling. caller: good morning.
i have two questions. y're star in the early voting, why don't the polls actually poll the voters, the people who voted. in polling stop at some point olling the polls thol at count? what is your opinion about the country and the government legislating and governing by consensus? t polls play a
bigger role with everything that concerns the american people if they legislate it and govern by consensus. guest: on the question of polling voters, the surveys we are conducting ask a series of questions about people's intention to vote. we ask people if they have already voted. record that and so we released yesterday in the poll yesterday that how many people have reported voting early. when we released our final poll, we will talk about the split of the vote among the early voters. the exit polls also are a form of what you're talking about. the pollsters are sampling precincts and sampling voters as
they come out of the polling places. the exit voters have to do -- that is the next step in voting. we'll have the exit polls on election day. about legislating by polls, there is a long history about how much direct power to the public should have over legislation over the direction of the country. there was a consensus among the framers of the constitution. it would not be a good idea to have the public critic legislation either through a poll or from referenda beyond a certain level. a lot of people holdup california as a place that has a lot of problems because of the referendum process that allows people to vote directly on
legislation. polls are important to help inform policy makers as to what people want. we need policy makers to use judgment and balance different considerations to be able to make wise decisions. they cannot do that if they do not know what the public wants. ollingwhat does your p show concerning that? guest: if one candidate wins the popular vote and another gets the electoral college vote, we will see a lot of polling about the role of the electoral college and what it should be. two elections in 12 years would lead to significant movement to
change the system. we're not asking about that at this point. host: "usa today" has this piece this morning. barry in houston, texas. caller: good morning. this is very informative. you have answered my question. something you said disturbed me. allowing to vote on referenda. have been the direct participation from the general public. i thought that's what the framers had in mind. you have to have that kind of check and balance.
it seems to me that polls would help funnel the conversation to what the people want as opposed to saying corporations having undue influence on our government at this point. guest: that is a fair point and i do think polls serve that function. they provide a clear image of what the public wants. questions tend to be asked in stark black and white terms. that's our philosophy. what i meant does not speak as much to the public's capacity to be able to vote wisely as the entire system of referenda to create questions that pose alternatives to the public. i'm not an expert in the
california system. the ability to get on the ballot is equally distributed across political interests. sometimes you have questions that have consequences that go well beyond the narrow purpose of the legislation. those kinds of questions are broader in terms of the consequences for the system. that system doesn't seem to work for a while. that is an opinion. it is an aspect of the connection of public opinion that is something that week think about in the polling business. that's what i meant. host: liz smith on twitter says -- that brings me to the steep
decline in response rates. why is it? is it because of the mistrust? guest: that is probably part of it. more and more people are either declining to take part in our surveys when we try to reach them or they are not accessible to us within the time frames that contemporary polls have to be done. we are trying to capture a moment in public opinion so we have to do them quickly. we interview one person out 10 households that we try to reach. some of this trend is a result of mistrust in all kinds of authority and organizations.
some is busy lives that people lead and a sense that they do not want to take the time to do woit. some is a concern over privacy. it is hard to convince people or to answer all their questions in the space of just a few seconds. host: jonathan in ohio, go ahead. caller: i had a comment about the polling. they are only polling 1400 people at a time and there are half a billion people in the united states alone. i feel like most polls skew republican and i want to know why that is. guest: we have not found that to be true in our surveys.
the question of how many republicans and democrats you get on a poll is a difficult one because party affiliation is not a democratic white race or age is. to your fun and not a question -- to your fundamental question, that is a mysterious thing to a lot of people. the science on which is based, giving everybody an equal chance of being included, it is well established and widely used to the medical profession and accounting and businesses. all kinds of industries and professions used sampling and trust it. sometimes analogies are helpful. if you go to your doctor and the doctor says, we need to do a blood test and he says i will
take a sample, you wouldn't say, "i would not trust sampling and you should take all of its ." you don't have to eat the entire pot of soup to know whether it needs salt. we tend to get elections right. host: here is the average of polls, breaking them down, pew research. there is a tie. the gallup poll has governor romney and head. politico shows president obama with a one point advantage over governor romney in that poll. guest: most of the polling is
converging on a close race. the gallup number with the five point advantage for governor romney is not far outside of that consensus. typically when you get down to the end of the campaign, you have the resolution of doubt. people are finally making up their mind. people go voting before election day. so the polling should get more consistent when you get this close to the election. if you look at all of the polling, you see it varying with in the normal margin for error, which is typically in the 3% or 4 percentage point range. host: this is physguy on
twitter. guest: i disagree with that. we are in the bit business of promoting unbiased information. i think that social justice is best served by giving everybody in the population regardless of their income or education or race or age or experience in politics and equal opportunity to have their voice heard. pulling makes democracy what democracy is supposed to be. it gives people an equal voice in what goes on. host: how do make up for this data? young people and minorities are the most likely to eschew
landline telephones? guest: would be missing most of the young population. we call landlines. we should be getting 20% of our sampling and we're getting 6% under age 30. we make that up with cell phones. host: diane is up next. olling.talking about pulli caller: he just said that he polled young people on their cell phones. we have been bombarded by people on cell phones and they are every day and we are
retired. how do you get the numbers? a lot of people did not answer their phones when they know it is pulolling. the stations you mentioned -- cnn, cbs, fox -- all cleaned liberal except for fox. even the moderators were very liberal. they stepped in to help out the president. i cannot see how we can trust you because this does not make sense. response.s get a guest: let me answer the
polling question about cell phones and peoples on willingness to answer. we do get a lot of people that refuse to talk with us or we never reach. if the phone rings and you see a caller identification and you figure it is a poll and do not answer. a lot of people do not answer their phone for a lot of reasons. people don't answer the phones for political reasons. our polling has been accurate in elections and it would not be if we were turned down more by republicans than bite democrats. we have done studies about household that we call and household that we do not reach an we do not see any differences
politically between them. the people we cannot talk to have the same profile that we do call. we try not to be biased. if we were perceived as biased and if we showed a bias, it would damage our reputation and we cannot afford that. we want to be taken seriously by everybody. we don't have an opinion about how the debates when or how they were moderated. our job is to chronicle how people are reacting ot it. -- to it. we end up with more people that are well educated than we should. the percentage of people with college degrees, graduate degrees and people with some
college is slightly higher than it would be if we were getting a random sample of the public'. people with lower levels of education may be suspicious of puolling. that is the major by is that we see. it is one that we can correct through the democratic waiteigh ing that we do. young people lead busier lives. we can reach young people when they are not at home. in the old days, we would have problems reaching young people because they were not as available. host: more older americans and are participating.
this is "the wall street journal." governor romney is leading among seniors in florida. guest: we don't have any trouble reaching seniors. senior citizens are pretty amenable to being interviewed. they tend to be a home more often. that makes it easier to reach them. older americans are now are more republican in their leanings. there are a lot of reasons for why that is. on of it is generational -- some of it has been a generational. these are people that came of age politically during the eisenhower years. they are a bit more conservative
than the older baby boomer segment of the population that came of age 10 years later. host: what is interesting about this poll is that governor romney leads in terms of presidential preference. governor romney leads 49% to 44%. al is an independent caller from oklahoma. caller: how do you know if the person you call is an american citizen or not? obamacare -- those who opposed it were people that were
supportive -- how do you convey that information to people? thank you. guest: a rich collection of questions. we do not typically ask people if they are citizens or not. we ask if they are registered to vote. people who are not citizens will not say they are registered to vote because they are not and cannot be. if it's a problem, it takes care of itself. they are able to answer questions and have opinions. they are probably in the country legally.
we do not make a distinction. tickets to taking care of with the voter registration question. i do not favor banning polls. i think it provides information in political campaigns that is useful to the public in helping its make up its mind. host: he said in france they one week before the election. guest: that would not be the constitutional under our first amendment. i do not think it would be wise because i think polling is information that leaders and the public needs. host: author any regulations or
oversight of the government on polling? guest: it is limited. people are protected from being bombarded from sales calls to cell phones. that is something that affects us when we dial cell phones. it was that safeguard put into place to protect people who have cell phones and have to pay for incoming calls. the third question is an interesting one. when we do way poll and say the public is divided, what are we really saying? we asked a version of a question that asked people what would you like to see happen?
would you like to see it expanded or repealed? there were people who said they'd like to see it expanded. they do not approve of the legislation as it stands. 10% or 15%, if memory serves me. host: this is a question on twitter. guest: this is a big challenge for the exits polls. they can only into the people that are coming out of the polling place. they do it by telephone survey. we are calling a sample of the public and asking people if they plan to vote and if they have already voted. we can talk about the support of
the people who have voted earlier versus the people who intend to vote on election day. host: helen in arizona. caller: i have several phone calls from people of polls. i ask them who is conducting the poll and they say we are not at liberty to say. then i say i'm not at liberty to answer the question. why do they not say who is conducting the poll? guest: that is an irony. there's a concern in any kind of survey research that if interviewers are aware of who they're working for and if they know they're working for it
democratic candidate or republican candidate or a particular kind of organization that they may end up being biased themselves in how they respond. even more serious when interviewers are aware of the poll, the respondent may be biased. if i said i was working for a republican party organization and i called you and you said, who are you working for, and i said i am calling for the republican party, you might say that is great and i will talk to you. york democratic son -- your democratic son might say i'm not talking to you. you are entitled to -- the people